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#Podcast – Robot reporting: A look at the LA Times data desk

March 8th, 2013Posted by in Data, Podcast
Image by davedehetre on Flickr. Some rights reserved

Image by davedehetre on Flickr. Some rights reserved

If you were working on a newsdesk in California when you got reports of an earthquake, would you go and copy and paste the details from the the US Geological Survey email that was auto-generated.

Would you write when and where it happened and how powerful it was? Would you grab a map and encourage sub-editors to publish quickly?

Well, the Los Angeles Times would have already beaten you to it. It would have auto-published a post, complete with auto-generated headline, a map, and a Ken Schwencke’s byline, the person who wrote the code that auto-writes a story using information from the US Geological Survey.

In this podcast we hear about this example of robot reporting from the LA Times data desk and others, plus look at how internal databases can assist journalists. We also hear about recent data projects from the LA Times.

Journalism.co.uk technology editor Sarah Marshall speaks to:

  • Ben Welsh, database producer, Los Angeles Times
  • Brian Boyer, news applications editor, NPR and project leader on the PANDA project

 

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